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If I Forget Discussion and Talk Back

Updated: Feb 20



Join us Tuesday, March 2nd at 6:30 PM PST to discuss Jewish Identity and If I Forget


Steven Levenson’s play, If I Forget, was written to question what it means to be Jewish in the United States at the end of the twentieth century; a country where many Jews felt comfortable as part of American society. The events of the last few years may have proven that feeling of safety to be unfounded. Do Jews identify as a Jewish American, American Jew or Other?


The play is not a story about the events of the Holocaust, rather it is provocative view of the effects the Holocaust has had on the expression of Jewish Identity. Michael, the Jewish Studies professor in the play, shuns the concept that Jews should identify as a people who suffered through a government sanctioned extermination. His passion is to replace the negative symbol of genocide with positive works on civil rights, economic and social justice. He promotes this while neglecting to be present for his ailing parents and disavowing his family’s religious traditions. What will be left of Michael’s Jewish Identity?


A live Zoom Talk Back on Jewish Identity and If I Forget will be held Tuesday, March 2nd at 6:30 PM PST. Ticketholders will be able to participate by asking questions to the panel. The moderator will be Dr. Julie Lieber, Chief Jewish Life and Engagement Officer for Jewish Colorado. The participants are Rabbi Phil Bressler of Beit Am in Corvallis, Rabbi Rachel Kobrin of Congregation Rodef Shalom in Denver, Colorado, Robert Leff the Director of If I Forget and cast members.


MEET THE PANEL


Dr. Julie Lieber

Chief Jewish Life and Engagement Officer for Jewish Colorado

Dr. Julie Lieber holds a PhD in European history with a focus on Jewish women, gender and sexuality, and for many years was a professor of History and Jewish Studies in Colorado.


Rabbi Phil Bressler

Beit Am in Corvallis

Rabbi Phil Bressler serves as rabbi and spiritual leader of Beit Am, a pluralistic Jewish community in Corvallis, OR. Rabbi Phil was ordained in 2018 from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, MA where he also received his Master of Arts in Jewish Studies. He grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he was active in the Reform Jewish community and spent his summers at URJ (Union of Reform Judaism) summer camp. Rabbi Phil's path to the rabbinate began at Washington University in St. Louis, where exposure to the academic field of Biblical Criticism led to a wider exploration of Jewish meaning through prayer, study, and ritual practice. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jewish, Islamic, and Near-Eastern Studies in 2006.


Rabbi Phil is dedicated in his work to helping others connect with the part of Judaism that speaks to them and making Jewish tradition accessible and understandable to anyone seeking it out. He loves to relax by making music, downhill skiing when there's snow, and hiking with his family when there's not.


Rabbi Rachel Korbin

Congregation Rodef Shalom in Denver, Colorado

A native of Rochester, NY, Rabbi Kobrin attended the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University in Los Angeles where she received her rabbinic ordination and Master of Arts in Rabbinic Studies, as well as the USCJ award for congregational leadership in 2009. Rabbi Kobrin is active in many aspects of Jewish life and thought, including as a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, and a contributing writer for the Denver Post, MyJewishlearning.com, huffingtonpost.com, TimesofIsrael.com, and God: Jewish Choices for Struggling with the Ultimate. She has been a scholar-in-residence and teacher at conferences and retreats throughout the country, and is often invited to speak at rallies and gatherings for social justice.


Rabbi Kobrin has a passion for serving people of all ages and bringing the joy and meaning of a 3,500-year-old tradition to the modern world. She is working intensely during this time of Covid-19 to adapt to the uncertain current realities and to reimagine how we engage, teach, and reach American Jews who, in this moment, need community more than ever.


Robert Leff

Majestic Readers’ Theatre Company

This is Director Robert Leff's eighth production directing for the Majestic Readers’ Theatre Company. Just six months ago he opened our season by directing Dear Elizabeth. The list of shows he directed for us include Time Stands Still, Tragedy Full of Joy: Stories by Bernard Malamud, Under Milk Wood, Distracted, Boy, and Marjorie Prime. The plays he chooses to submit brings us complex roles for actors and engaging theater for our audiences.


The show will be available to stream the weekend of February 27-28. Purchase tickets at https://tinyurl.com/mrtcforget. You will receive a link to the streaming site via email. After the performance you will receive an email with information for participating in the Talk Back on March 2nd at 6:30 PM PST.

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